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Rickettsia rickettsii
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Alphaproteobacteria
Order: Rickettsiales
Family: Rickettsiaceae
Genus: Rickettsia
da Rocha-Lima, 1916

Rickettsia is a unique genus classified between a virus and a bacteria. The organism is unique in that it has a cell wall and exists only in living cells like a virus, but is susceptible to antibiotics like bacteria.

The method of growing Rickettsia in chicken embryos was invented by Ernest William Goodpasture and his colleagues at Vanderbilt University in the early 1930s.